Chinese troops sought information about deployment of Indian army amid other territorial details from the three Indian nationals apprehended by them and taken blind-folded in helicopters from Ladakh.
"The Chinese sought to know strategic deployment of Indian army, but after realising they were ordinary locals and not spying agents, gave them new clothes and allowed them to return," said a police official.
The three Ladakhis, who were returned on December 11, were on Tuesday released on bail by a local court. Tundup Dorze, Nawang Namgayal and Boldon Dorze, all residents of Karzok, were chargesheeted under Section 2 and 3 of the Egress and Ingress Movement Control Ordinance (E and IMCO).
After being handed over by the Chinese, the three were arrested by the Nyoma police and produced before the court. The clothes given to them by the Chinese were also seized, added the official.
The three had crossed over into the Chinese territory to search for their horses which had strayed into their territory.
They had crossed over from Chumur area, which is about 300km from Leh, where only locals are allowed.
The Chinese are yet to return the 37 horses.
"Chinese troops did contact Indian Army about the horses. The Army asked the three as to why were the horses so far away, and also why they didn't inform them (Indian army) about it first. After that there was no contact from the Chinese side," said a police official.
The three Indian nationals were handed over to the Indian army at Chishul- a place where flag meeting are held, about 150-km from Chumur.
Chinese army personnel had even taken Rs 900- Rs 300 each- as grazing tax.
Chumur is seen as a strategically important place where Indian army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police had put in more personnel and improved logistics after the August 2011 incident when two Chinese helicopters had entered the Indian territory and dismantled about 17 structures made up of loose stones.